Students' experiences concerning course workload and factors enhancing and impeding their learning - a useful resource for quality enhancement in teaching and curriculum planning

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Abstract:

The aim of the study is to deepen our understanding of factors which students experience as important in learning, in order to improve the quality of teaching and curriculum planning. A total of 132 veterinary students participated in the study by answering a questionnaire containing open-ended questions. Most of the comments on factors enhancing learning were associated with teaching practices. Factors related to the planning of teaching, including curriculum and course overload, were commonly mentioned as impeding learning. The students rarely commented on their own actions. The results have been widely implemented in quality enhancement procedures at the faculty, such as curriculum planning and reform, planning of individual courses, improving teaching and assessment practices and arranging support for students' reflection. L'objectif de cette recherche est d'approfondir notre comprehension des facteurs qui sont important en matiere d'experience d'apprentissage des etudiants, de facon a ameliorer la qualite de l'enseignement et la planification curriculaire. Au total, 132 etudiants en sciences veterinaires ont participe a la recherche en repondant a un questionnaire contenant des questions ouvertes. La plupart des commentaires portant sur les facteurs facilitant l'apprentissage etaient associes aux pratiques d'enseignement. Les facteurs relies a la planification de l'enseignement, tels quel la surcharge au niveau du curriculum ou du cours, etaient communement mentionnes comme nuisant a l'apprentissage. Les etudiants ont rarement fourni des commentaires au sujet de leurs propres actions. Les resultats ont ete largement utilises dans le cadre de procedures d'amelioration de la qualite au niveau de la faculte, entre autres en ce qui a trait a la reforme et la planification curriculaires, a la planification des cours individuels, a l'amelioration des pratiques d'enseignement et d'evaluation, et aux mesures visant a soutenir la reflexion des etudiants.

Keywords: Bologna Process; curriculum; learning, teaching; quality enhancement; undergraduate studies; university students; veterinary medicine

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13601440802659494

Affiliations: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki,

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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